Comet Lulin at Maximum New comet with spectacular anti tail

Uploaded 2/26/09

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 There is only about one comet per decade that shows this strong of an anti-tail development gracing our skies. This is probably the most intense one I have ever seen in over 35 years of comet observing. The false tail, known as an anti tail is simply dust in the comets orbital plane projected onto the head of the comet. Here, the true ion tail disconnected a few days ago and hasn't been seen since. This comet was an easy naked eye sight this morning, around 5th magnitude with the tail easily seen in binoculars.

Here we are tracking on the comets head during the 40 minutes of exposure time, and the stars appearing as broken streaks are passing by in a blur. The small gap in time between the separate 5 minute sub frames is what gives the stars a dark gap between exposures.

Lens: 400mm f/5 refractor Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 (Piggyback on 12.5") Exposure: 8 x 5m Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 4/10, Transparency 7/10 Outside Temperature: 40F Processing Tools: Photoshop CS2 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS